South Alabama Wraps Up Preparation for Florida International

November 2, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jaguars held their final practice on Thursday in full pads. It lasted about two hours and, according to head coach Joey Jones, the team made good improvements in several areas.

While they prepared to face Florida International, they also spent time working on themselves to shore up some areas of concern. “It was a good practice,” Jones said. “The theme for the rest of the year of us is to finish, finish this week, finish the games, finish the season, and I think they have a great attitude toward that right now, I really do.”

“The leadership is really starting to come out,” he continued. “Because when you’ve got to pull it out of them all the time, you’re probably not going to get it. But when they start doing it, when the peers start doing it, then you’ve really got something.”

On Friday, the Jags will have a short walk-through practice.

In Jeff Sagarin’s computer rankings of all 245 FBS and FCS schools South Alabama ranks #153, which is the lowest ranking for a Sun Belt team. FIU is ranked #146 while FAU, the team the Jags defeated two weeks ago, is ranked #138. While ULM is the highest ranked Sun Belt team at #46. Mississippi State is the highest ranked team on the Jaguars schedule this season at #28.

In the poll by CBSSports.com, who ranks all 124 FBS school, the Jags ranked #118, which is again the lowest ranked team in the Sun Belt. FIU is ranked #102, FAU is #109, ULM is #32 and Mississippi State is the highest ranked team on the Jags schedule as they rank #15.

Fans are encouraged to wear BLUE for the game on Saturday as the team will wear their Blue Jerseys and Blue pants.

Kickoff at Ladd-Peebles Stadium between the Jaguars and the FIU Golden Panthers is set for 2:30pm on Saturday.

EA Sports Is Making Good On Their Promise

September 8, 2012 · Filed Under Football, News · Comment 

Earlier this year, it came to fans attention that South Alabama was not “in the game” as EA Sports commercials suggest. When a preview was released, fans scoured through and could not find South Alabama. That’s when Jaguar Nation started making waves and their pleas did not fall on deaf ears.

At first EA ignored the fans and simply said that they didn’t know in time to include them in the game. An answer us fans refused to simply accept. Then EA announced that, due to the oversight, they were going to give the Jags the first class treatment usually reserved for the top tier teams.

Fast forward to this week. EA Sports has been in Mobile at Ladd-Peebles Stadium since Thursday collecting data, photographic and video scans and interviewing the coaching staff for inclusion in the 2014 edition of the game due out next summer.

According to Ben Haumiller, EA Sports site producer, South Alabama was not included in the 2013 game that came out earlier this year. They were the only team of the 124 FBS Schools that was not included. Last weeks opponent, Texas-San Antonio, is included even though they started football after South Alabama. So is Texas State. But EA Sports offered to make it up to the school and Jaguar Nation by providing extras for the Jags when they are included in the game next year.

EA Sports sent a four-person crew for a three day information gathering trip in preparation for their addition to the game. They have performed a stadium scan that will duplicate Ladd-Peebles Stadium exactly. Also crowd noise and fan chants during the game will be use “In the game”. Interviews with members of the coaching staff will help the developers make the play-calling and offensive and defensive formations as accurate as possible. South Paw was also filmed on Thursday for inclusion in the “Mascot Mash-Up” option in the game.

The crew will film the cheerleaders and the football team as they run-out of the entrance onto the field today. They will recreate that in game.

“It’s neat because a lot of the players are fans of the game and a lot of coaches may have played (similar) games when they were younger but have probably gotten away from it. But they understand the significance of it and for their team it can be a great team-building exercise,” said Haumiller of their reception in town this week. “The (players) will get together on a Friday night and play the game all night long. … Kids are learning about the sport. They’re learning what a cover 2 defense is at a younger age because they learn it playing the game. They love the fact that we are here to promote their school because it’s a big recruiting tool as well. To be able to say that EA was at South Alabama, hey we weren’t anywhere else this weekend.”

Haumiller said he was disheartened when they realized South Alabama had been omitted from the game. Their next step was to make sure South Alabama were “taken care of” for the next version of the game. “We could not have been any more embarrassed and saddened that it happen,” Haumiller said. “So that was one of the things where we wanted to make it right and how this trip became involved, getting everything we possibly can get to represent South Alabama so when they do make their debut it’s the right debut. It’s not just, yes, we added them, it’s yeah, here they are, and this is everything about them.”

Thursday, two EA Sports representatives met with coaches about their playbook, which the team is going to put together a DVD of some of its plays for them to use in the game. They also filmed South Paw and talked with other school officials as well.

Meanwhile, environmental artist Gregory Palinkas and Dan Goodman worked 12 hours at Ladd-Peebles Stadum to collect photographs, scan the stadium’s interior and exterior all to painstakingly recreate the look of South Alabama football in the game.

“We’re doing scans and photograph references, capturing material information, so we can get everything down to the gravel so that we can capture everything as true to life as we can,” Palinkas said.

The main work was doing the scans. “That scan is amazing,” Palinkas continued. “… We’re capturing 44 million points per scan. We’ll be able to pick up every nut and bolt that makes up this place. It’s insane. It’s fantastic. It not only will scan the points but it will take color photographs and when you put it into the software (in process of building the stadium for the game) you can overlay the color into those points and you get an accurate representation of the colorization of the lights during the day, what the different materials look like. It’s really outstanding.”

This is what Palinkas referred to as the “Big Tour” which is work normally reserved for the upper-tier teams. And now, South Alabama. All because we were omitted.

“We’ll be here Saturday for game day to capture what the crowd sounds like, get some crowd audio in, get more photograph references of the crowd itself. Because this is going to be South Alabama’s first time in the game we want to make sure that we absolutely nail it and get everything as close as we can to perfection so when you guys buy the game they’ll see the stadium just as it is,” Palinkas stated.

When they finish collecting data today, they will head back to their offices in Orlando, Florida and begin the process of putting all that information together for the Jags inclusion in the game. While this process will take about four to five weeks to complete, it will not stop there. After the stadium is recreated, the crowd noise is added and the plays and formations are added there will be continual updates and tweaks  make until the last moment before the game is shipped off for disc pressing. Then the Jags will be included with all of the other 123 FBS schools “In the game”.

While the fans may be sad that they were left out from the beginning. In hindsight it was a blessing in disguise. Now South Alabama will be included the same way as Alabama, Michigan, USC and other “top-tier teams”.

May we suggest a limited edition cover while we are at it?

Alternate cover for NCAA Football 13

Mock-up of Kendall Houston on the cover of NCAA Football 13. But it would be just as good if it were NCAA Football 14.

 

USA NCAA Football 13

C.J. Bennett as the alternate cover for NCAA Football 13.

Go Jags!

Jags To Wear Blue On Saturday

September 7, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Receiver Jereme Jones looks in the pass from CJ Bennett in the first half of the 33-31 loss to Texas-San Antonio.

South Alabama will host Nicholls State on Saturday, September 8 at 4pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The parking lot will open at 8am for tailgating. Stadium gates will open at 2pm.

It was announced that they are encouraging fans to wear Blue as the team will be wearing their all blue uniforms for the Colonels.

Tickets are as low as $10 for general admission end zone tickets or $15 for reserved sideline seating.

Parking is limited at Ladd-Peebles stadium. If you do not have a parking pass there are private parking options in the vicinity of Ladd-Peebles Stadium, but it is not controlled or managed by USA or the stadium. The Wave will be running from Bell Air Mall and will shuttle you from the parking area to the stadium for $2.50 (round trip). They will begin at noon and will run continuously until 90 minutes after the conclusion of the game.

Jaguar Prowl is the tradition of cheering on the players and coaches as they arrive at the stadium. This begins 2 hours and 20 minutes before kickoff on gameday. They walk across the south side of the stadium.

Local forecasts give a chance of rain after kickoff, you may want to bring a poncho.

Go Jags!

Jags Fall At Home To UTSA 33-31

September 2, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Receiver Jereme Jones looks in the pass from CJ Bennett in the first half of the 33-31 loss to Texas-San Antonio.

South Alabama fell in their season-opening game versus Texas-San Antonio 33-31 on Saturday at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Four turnovers and ill timed penalties did the team in. Each turnover resulted in a UTSA score.

UTSA kicker Sean Ianno, who’s game winning field goal attempt was blocked last year in the Alamo Dome, made the 51 yard attempt with 16 seconds left in the game to avenge a 30-27 double-overtime loss to South Alabama last season. It was UTSA’s first-ever road victory in the program’s second season of competition. This was the second consecutive loss at home for the Jags and second loss all-time at home.

The opening drive went as planned, they drove 75 yards in eight plays and scored a touchdown. An 11 yard rush by Demetre Baker capped off the drive as the Jags took the early 7-0 lead.

On their next possession, the Jaguars were driving again and reached deep into UTSA territory before quarterback C.J. Bennett tossed an interception in the end zone to end the drive. UTSA took that turnover and drove 80 yards to answer and tie the game at 7-7.

The ensuing kickoff was returned by T.J. Glover from near the goal line out past the 50 yard line before he fumbled. The ball was recovered by UTSA and scored a second touchdown to take the lead 14-7.

In the second quarter, UTSA kicked field goals of 47 and 32 to increase their lead to 20-7 before South Alabama fought back last in the quarter. The Jags drove down and scored on a play-action pass to running back Desmond Jones with 20 seconds left in the half to cut the lead to 20-14.

Michel Chapuseaux added a 43 yard field goal in the third quarter to cut the UTSA lead to 20-17. Later, Kendall Houston waltzed in from one yard out to give the Jags a 24-20 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

The roadrunners scored on a 34 yard forth-down play to retake the lead at 27-24. After the kickoff, Bennett took the snap and was preparing to make a throw, but Demetre Baker cut in front of him and brushed the ball out of Bennett’s hands. The fumble was recovered by UTSA at the Jaguar 21 yard line. The defense held them to a field goal, but were trailing 30-24.

The Jags fought back though. Bennett found a wide open Jereme Jones open down the left side for a 34 yard touchdown pass to put the Jags back on top 31-30 with 2:46 to play.

On the ensuing kickoff, Chapuseaux’s kick was fielded just short of the end zone and returned out to the 31 yard line, but Tyrome Bivins was flagged for a personal foul, the 15 yard penalty put UTSA at their 46 yard line. The Jags would get five of those yards back on a false start penalty.

After an incomplete pass, UTSA’s Okotcha rushed for five yards before being forced out of bounds by Jake Johnson. Their 3rd and 10 play was a pass completion from quarterback Soza to Armstrong for 15 yards to the Jags 39 yard line. Okotcha then had back to back runs for no gain and four yards. Soza completed a pass for one yard to get to the Jaguar 34 yard line before the roadrunners used their final time out to bring on the kicking unit. Sean Ianno nailed the 51 yard kick to take the lead 33-31 with 16 seconds left.

T.J. Glover returned the kickoff to the Jaguar 29 yard line. Terrance Timmons gained seven yards on the next play, but could not get out of bounds quick enough as time expired.

UTSA out-gained the Jags 398 to 308, out-rushed the Jags 126 to 183 and out passed the Jags 182-215. Jags held the edge in first downs 18 to 16 though.

Jaguar quarterbacks combined to go 15-of-26 with one interception and two touchdowns. UTSA led the way in penalties with 11 for 114 yards while the Jags only had seven for 80 yards, with the personal foul on the kickoff return being the most costly of the game.

Jags returned two punts for 37 yards, averaging 18.5 yards per return, and returned two kickoffs for 95 yards, which averaged 47.5 yards per return. UTSA returned two punts for -7 yards and three kickoffs for 58 yards.

UTSA held the edge in time of possession 33:07 to 26:53. The Jags fumbled three times and lost all three.

Demetre Baker led the Jags on the ground with 63 yards rushing on 12 carries with Kendall Houston rushing 11 times for 43 yards, Terrance Timmons ran four times for 20 yards, Bennett rushed nine times for 12.

Bennett went 15-of-24 for 182 yards, two touchdowns and one interception with one sack. Ross Metheny went 0-for-2.

Jereme Jones led the receivers with 51 yards on three receptions, including the long 34 yard catch late in the fourth quarter. Corey Besteda also had three recptions for 40 yards. Greg Hollinger added 42 yards on two receptions, Glover had 25 yards on two catches, Lavender had 12 yards on two catches, Kendall Houston added 10 yards on two catch as well.

T.J. Glover led the game with 145 all-purpose yards with 25 receiving, 95 in kickoff returns, 37 in punt returns but -12 on one reverse.

Jake Johsnon and Enrique Williams both led the Jags with eight total stops. Alonzo Long added seven stops and Darrius Morrow and Tyrell Pearson both added five. Pearson picked off one Soza pass and returned it 28 yards.

After the game, Jaguar head coach Joey Jones spoke about the game.  “First of all I want to congratulate UTSA. I thought they played a great game, and my hat’s off to them,” he began. “They played well, and we knew they would. They played us into double overtime last year, and we knew they had a good football team. They have a lot of good players. They didn’t do anything any different. We obviously turned the ball over too many times. I think it came down to turnovers and key penalties at the wrong time.”

Speaking about the final Jaguar touchdown to regain the lead with 2:46 left in the game. “We had to find the right time to run the play,” stated Jones. “We got in the formation and they ran what we expected them to.  Everyone did their job and we executed. We saw a mismatch with Jeremé.  We had been waiting to call that play, and we found the right spot.”
“The offense showed a little fight. We teach ball security, and today we got away from that. Turning the ball over is something you can’t do in a close game, and they [the turnovers] really came back to bite us in the end. The good thing is all these mistakes are correctable.”

Jags Improve In Second Scrimmage

August 20, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 
Coach Joey Jones

Head Coach Joey Jones speaks to his team after the conclusion of the Jaguars first practice of preseason camp.

C.J. Bennett and Brandon Ross lead the Jaguar offense in Saturday morning’s scrimmage for the South Alabama. Ross scored three touchdowns on four carries while Bennett threw for 117 yards and two touchdowns while going 9-of-10 in the scrimmage at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

Ross’ first rush of the scrimmage was a four yard gain before crossing the goal line from one yard out on his second carry in a red zone possession for the offense. On the second snap after the mid-scrimmage break, Ross took the ball down the sideline for a 55 yard touchdown. Later in the scrimmage he got one more carry for a two yard touchdown. He racked up 62 of the 141 yards of rushing offense on the day to lead all Jaguars.

Ross is returning from a near one-and-a-half year absence following a knee injury in the 2010 season. Ross was the Jaguars’ leading rusher in 2009 and 2010 at the time of his injury.

Bennett led the first team offense on a 97 yard, 11 play drive for its first possession of the scrimmage. He completed six passes for 80 yards of the drive. He opened with a seven yard pass to T.J. Glover, he later found Bryant Lavender for 13-yards on two occasions and also found Tyrome Bivins for 12 yards to get to midfield. Demetre Baker added a two yard run before Bennett hit Jake Howton for 23 yards. Bennett rounded out the drive with a 25 yard strike to Cameron Broadnax for a touchdown.

Bennett only led the offense one other time. That drive spanned 65 yards in seven plays and it was capped off by a 31 yard touchdown pass to Baker.

The first team defense only surrendered two field goals on the day. The final field goal allowed came on a red zone possession at the 15 yard line.

Ben Giles and Anthony Taylor both lead the team with seven tackles each. Taylor added two pass-breakups to his total as well. Jesse Kelley added six tackles. Giles and Kelley both were credited with 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Randon Carnathan and Enrique Williams recorded three tackles each while Davin Hawkins led the reserves with five tackles.

Offensively, Terrance Timmons rushed five times for 29 yards, Ellis Hill had four rushes for 18 yards and Baker added 17 yards on the ground. Broadnax, Glover and Lavender along with Nathan Sassaman all had two catches each as they combined with four different quarterbacks to tally 181 yards through the air.

Michel Chapuseaux made field goals from 37, 42 and 39 yards. Aleem Sunanon convered the final score of the scrimmage with a 32 yard field goal.

“Offensively and defensively, it was good,” Head coach Joey Jones said about the scrimmage. “Overall I’m sure we’re going to see some things on film that we need to correct. But we’re not quite where we need to be on special teams, and our sideline organization needs to get better. It wasn’t terrible, but there are some things that we have got to shore up. That’s why we do this. I think we will come out next week and do it again, and hopefully we will be perfect at it when we come out on Thursday.”

“We are evaluating our players and will see where we are on the depth chart, and make those decisions this weekend,” Jones continued. “Monday we’ll starting putting the game plan in for Texas-San Antonio, we’ll have a few extra days to getting ready for them.”

“I was monitoring a couple of spots, but we still had to do things against our offense,” said defensive coordinator Bill Clark. “We got our first guys a lot of good work, I thought we tackled well and got to the ball. Our goal was to go 100 percent on our assignments today, we’ll have to see the film, but I think we looked pretty sound. It’s basically what we wanted to see. We’ve still got work to do, but it was a good finish to camp.”

“I thought the defense came out and stopped the run pretty well and I thought they got after it,” coach Jones said about the defense.

Senior Safety B.J. Scott felt that Saturday’s scrimmage was better than the first one of the preseason. “We just had that in the back of our heads and we came out here and just got after it,” he said. “I think we all as a whole feel a little bit more comfortable and focused. It’s all mental at this point. We’re pretty much done beating up on each other.”

“Fundamentally we have improved a lot since camp started,” offensive coordinator Robert Matthews said. “We were able to execute a lot of base plays early today, in the second part of the scrimmage we tried to do some different things that we have been working on. Our guys know what to do, now it is just doing it at the speed and the tempo we expect. I think we are getting closer but are not there yet.”

The Jags returned to the practice field on Sunday so the student-athletes can take Monday off for the first day of fall semester classes.

 

Jags Work In Shells Preparing For Saturday Scrimmage

August 17, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Offensive line gets set while Coach Clark directs the defense during a practice early preseason camp.

The Jags hit the practice field on Thursday which marks exactly two weeks to the day that the South Alabama will open their season against Texas-San Antonio at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. The two-hour practice was in shells.

Thursday’s practice had sessions where the offense worked on inside running plays, team blitz and blitz pick-up and some two-minute drills to close out the practice.

During the blitz session, C.J. Bennett completed passes to Kendall Houston, Corey Besteda and Terrance Timmons. Also Ross Metheny completed passes to Besteda, Cameron Broadnax and Houston. Drew Dearman was very impressive in pass protection.

During another 11-on-11 session, Bennett and Metheny both had big passes. Bennett found T.J. Glover for a touchdown while Metheny hit Bryant Lavender for a big gain. Also the defense made several interceptions; Charles Watson, B.J. Scott, E.J. May and Ben Giles all picked off passes.

During the two-minute drill, Demetre Baker broke a big run and Bennett hit on two big passes with Lavender. However the first team offense stalled and settled for a 50-yard field goal attempt. The kick missed it’s target though. The defense ended the drill with back-to-back interceptions by May and Terrell Brigham.

“It was a good day. We tried to back off a little bit and practice at about 90 percent where we’re getting to the football, and I thought we did that,” head coach Joey Jones said. “They’re starting to get a little tired, so we have to be smart about what we’re doing. We have a great special teams period lined up for tomorrow, and then we’ll bring them back Saturday for the scrimmage. I’m really looking forward to see how well we do when we start putting it all together and look at how everyone concentrates during a game-type situation.”

A highlight of the day for the defense was when Tyrell Pearson manhandled Rush Hendricks on his way for a tackle.

The Jags scrimmage on Saturday will be held at 8am at Ladd-Peebles Stadium but will be closed to the public. The Jags will not have practice on Friday.

UT-Martin reminder

October 15, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

South Alabama Logo on TV

Remember that kickoff has been moved up to 2:30pm at Ladd-Peebles Stadium for today’s game against the University of Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks due to TV coverage. Also, we need a LOUD crowd today. Coach Jones has commented several times this week how UTSA fans were very loud and was disruptive and he has asked and almost pleaded for the fans to do the same to the Skyhawks.

If you don’t have a parking pass you can ride The Wave from Bel Air Mall to the stadium and back for a very affordable price of $2.50. The Wave will run for 90 minutes after the game to make sure everyone is shuttled back to their vehicles.

If you cannot make it out to the game at Ladd, then you can watch the Jags on UTV44 locally in the Mobile area or regionally on Comcast Sports Southeast (CSS) as well as nationally on ESPN3.com (depending on your internet service provider).

Among the local places carrying the game for you is Jags Grill at University and Old Shell as well as Baumhower’s Restaurant on Airport near I-65. Other locations may carry it as well.

Go Jags!!

Three days until kickoff

August 29, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

The Jags have three days until kickoff against West Alabama at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. They will have two more practices in preparation for the game then a walk-through at the Stadium on Wednesday before going into full gameday preparations before the 6:30pm kickoff.

On Tuesday, the first Jag-Gals social of the football season will be held at Tacky Jacks on the Causeway from 5:30pm-7:00pm. Head Coach Joey Jones, Associate Athletic Director Travis Toth and Equipment Operations Manager Jeff Bailey will be there previewing the upcoming season. Also they will be talking about the Jaguars gameday operations.

Jag Gals Tickets are available for $15 in advance or $25 on the day of the event.

 

When West Alabama visits Mobile, they will be lead by a new head coach. Division II legend Bobby Wallace announced his retirement last season and former Offensive Coordinator Will Hall was chosen to take over the head job. Will Hall, at age 30, has established himself as a rising talent in the college football ranks.

In 2009 Hall’s offense ranked 3rd in the Gulf South Conference and 21st in the nation. In the 2010 season the offense ranked 17th in the nation with the passing offense finishing 10th in the nation averaging over 300 yards per game.

The Tigers will test South Alabama’s newly revamped secondary

Go Jags!

Coach Joey Jones Show Recap 2011-08-23

August 24, 2011 · Filed Under Football, Joey Jones Radio Show · 1 Comment 
Baker and Jones

Coach Jones looks on as Demetre Baker looks to the sideline before blocking for a field goal attempt.

The Joey Jones Radio Show started season three with host Lee Shirvanian and guest Joel Erdmann today.

They started the show off by talking about the depth chart now that they are finished with preseason camp and are into game prep mode. The first thing that Lee asked coach Jones about were there any surprises that emerged that he wasn’t thinking about. Coach Jones said that they don’t have many changes.

He mentioned on the offensive line that Levi Slaydon did not return so they had to fill that position. Jermaine Smith and Brian Krauskopf have stepped up and are neck-and-neck for that starting job. Other than that change, the offensive line is the same as last season. At tight end it is pretty much the same with Kevin Helms and Paul Bennett there. A little bit of a change will be the backfield with the addition of Georgia transfer Demetre Baker with Kendall Houston. He indicated that they would be co-starters in the backfield.

When coach Jones moved onto receivers, he mentioned that they have more names out there than they did last year. Last year Courtney Smith was the big name and the other receivers were ‘the others’.

Lee then started talking about the defense and mentioned that there were many familiar names on that side of the ball. He first mentioned Cori Barnett at the Sam position with Ken Barefield as his backup. Barefield played defensive back last season for the Jags.

When asked about how Cori emerged as being a starter, Coach Jones said that he had a great spring and awarded him with a scholarship for how well he did in the off-season. He mentioned that he is a bit undersized but still plays very well, he’s smart and knows all the answers to questions over on defense. Ken will still play alot.

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Fan Day scrimmage 2011

August 14, 2011 · Filed Under Football · Comment